ECAC Hockey picks: Week 17

Prediction precision

Season record: Me: 100-47-16 (.663)
Guest guessers: 76-49-13 (.598)

Head to head: Sullivan 7, Guests 4*, with 1 tie.

Looks like I’m doing alright so far.

This week

All times Eastern

Friday, January 28

Cornell at Dartmouth – 7:00

Much like Princeton, Cornell has somehow figured out how to win on the road before getting it to click at home. Dartmouth hasn’t been extraordinarily strong at Thompson Arena this year either, and the first goal in this game looks like a big one, given each team’s one-win records when trailing early. While my brain is telling me that Dartmouth is the more likely winner, I think I’m going to trust my gut (especially after my last blog entry) and pick Cornell in the upset, 2-1.

Princeton at St. Lawrence – 7:00

SLU is 0-5 in its last five league games, and 1-8-0 in its last nine. Princeton, on the other hand, has only lost once in its last nine outings (7-1-1), and is a most curious 5-1-0 away from home this season (4-1-0 in ECAC play). Feels like a 3-2 game, and it feels like it’s Princeton with all the momentum.

Yale at Union – 7:00

Here’s a tough one to call. Union barely squeaked out three goals and one win at home last weekend, but the Dutchmen have been so fierce at home over the last couple years, it’s difficult to pick against them. That said, if you’re going to tab them to lose to anybody, Yale’s your best bet: Gotta ride the Blue to as many W’s as I can. 3-2 Elis.

Quinnipiac at Clarkson – 7:00

Two very exciting, unpredictable teams meet in Potsdam Friday night, and I haven’t the faintest idea who is going to win. QU has a little more positive inertia at the moment, but ‘Tech is hosting a home league game for the first time since November. This is just too wild a matchup to pick with any confidence, so I’ll go with the home team. (When in doubt: home team.) 3-2.

Brown at Rensselaer – 7:00

This could be a big trap game for RPI, in advance of Yale and the Big Red Freakout! Will Bruno be up for stealing a game? If goalie Mike Clemente stays hot (two goals against in each of his last three games, 85 saves combined), my money’s on the road team… even if the hosts are 10-1-0 at home this year. No, I’m kidding. Sure, Brown could certainly win, but 10-1-0? Seriously? Yeah, RPI in a squeaker, 3-2.

Colgate at Harvard – 7:00

It’s the movable force versus the stoppable object! I’d call a scoreless tie, if a) the defenses weren’t so inconsistent and b) I were lame enough to predict ties. Instead, I’ll have to actually do some real analysis: The Raiders have played in statistically tighter games lately, but I don’t think anyone on either team could describe a goal net from memory. The Crimson are coming off a real tough loss at Union in which Harvard led in the third period, while Colgate tied Cornell at home before getting routed in Ithaca. Game’s in Boston, which hasn’t meant much… geez, there’s really no edge either way. It’s an edgeless matchup. Spherical, even. Well, gotta fall back on the old stand-bys: Advantage, home team, 2-1.

Saturday, January 29

Princeton at Clarkson – 4:00

Princeton is playing like a team that doesn’t know it’s overachieving. Confidence, naivete, youthful exuberance; call it what you will, it all spells “win” lately. 4-2 Tigers.

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence – 4:00

The Bobcats are average on the road. The Saints are average at home. But while each team has been performing in fits and starts, the ‘Cats have been putting up more big numbers – and allowing fewer big numbers – than SLU has of late. 4-3 QU in the North Country.

Colgate at Dartmouth – 7:00

The Brown Rule is back in effect; Dartmouth in a frustratingly low-scoring contest, 3-1.

Brown at Union – 7:00

Union has to get one back after Yale rolls through. Brown’s tough, but the Dutchmen can not afford to get swept in valuable home sets. 5-3 UC.

Cornell at Harvard – 7:00

Back to The Brown Rule status for Harvard, since I’m predicting all the weekend’s games at once: 4-1 Cornell.

Yale at Rensselaer – 7:00

Freakout! or no Freakout!, RPI always plays Yale tough. Will it be tough enough to hand the Bulldogs their third loss of the year, and second in two weeks? Eeehhhhh… no. I think the Blue is a title contender, and true contenders learn from past mistakes: There will be no Brown sequel. 4-3 Yale.

Wednesday, February 2

Harvard at Brown – 7:00

The Brown Rule, in a Brown game, not applying to Brown. Crazy. 3-2 Bruno.

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